This Day in History: 1398-02-20

On 20th February 1398, John of Gaunt was at Pontefract Castle on his way north to treat for peace with the Scots, at the request of Richard II. John had not been in good health prior to this but had obviously improved and he may have left Katherine Swynford at Pontefract as it is unlikely he would have taken her to Scotland given the lawlessness of the Border regions. Richard II had been at odds with the Scots since the English invasion of 1385, which was, in part, a retaliation for a French army arriving in Scotland the previous summer. The invasion came to nothing and with dwindling crown funds, Richard was never in a position to mount a further campaign. Whilst Richard was away on a campaign in Ireland in 1399, he would be deposed by Henry Bolingbroke.